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Saying 'thank you' with a cup of joe

Free coffee for uniformed civil servants at Anthem Coffee

Tacoma police officers enjoy a hot cup of coffee at Anthem Coffee in downtown Tacoma, free of charge, thanks to the community-funded coffee card for uniformed civil servants. Photo courtesy of Anthem Coffee

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It's often the smallest acts of kindness that set the tone for our workdays, including something as simple as a stranger buying us a hot cup of coffee. For uniformed civil servants, especially, the seemingly-insignificant act can serve as a reminder that the community appreciates what you do. That sentiment is especially strong at Anthem Coffee Company, where customers dole out small "thank you's," to uniformed civil servants with a community-funded coffee card. 

"The card was started by Robyn Reed, one of our customers at the Puyallup storefront," said Bryan Reynolds, a co-founder of Anthem Coffee Company. "She was moved to do something for police officers, so she loaded some money on a card and she posted (on social media) about it ( It went viral. People came from all over the place and added money to the card."

That was back in December 2016. Since then, Anthem has started coffee cards for uniformed civil servants at each of its five locations across the South Puget Sound. Customers at Anthem storefronts in Puyallup, Tacoma and University Place can add money to the coffee card at any time. Meanwhile, uniformed civil servants including military servicemembers and first responders (firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel and paramedics) can utilize funds on the coffee card whenever they come in, so long as they're in uniform.

"We've kept it going at all our locations," said Reynolds. "It's a simple way for us to give back, to honor all our servicemen and women ...  It's also an easy way for people to jump in and be a part of giving back. They (uniformed civil servants) put their lives on the line and serve in some of the toughest scenarios, day in and day out. What they do allows us to feel safe and secure."

Within its first year, Anthem's community-funded coffee card reached a balance of over $800. Since then, over $2,000 has been loaded and utilized across Anthem storefronts.

"I think they (uniformed civil servants) feel community support and outreach when they come to Anthem," said Reynolds. "It's a way for them to find respite, to take a pause on life and get recharged, or just to dial-in as a team."  

Reynolds, who founded Anthem along with his parents, Larry and Janie Reynolds, and wife Alicia Reynolds, is no stranger to witnessing the sacrifices civil servants make on behalf of their community. His brother served and deployed with the U.S. Army, his brother-in-law is a firefighter, and his father-in-law is a retired police officer.  

"I love that I get to build teams and businesses ... and I get to do that because I have the confidence that we live in a free country and we're safe because other people put their lives on the line for us," said Reynolds. "It means a lot. That's just one of the reasons why we have a military discount, too. It's a way to say, ‘we see you, we value you and we thank you.'"

Military servicemembers not in uniform can still enjoy a cool 15 percent discount at any Anthem Coffee location.

Anthem Coffee Downtown, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.9705,

Anthem Coffee Puyallup, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 210 W. Pioneer, Puyallup, 253.256.8140,

Anthem Coffee Old Town, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 2312 N. 30th St., Tacoma, 253.256.8140,

Anthem Coffee University Place, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 3609 Market Place W., University Place, 253.256.8140,

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